La Plata edges Lackey to stay perfect
Smith lifts Warriors with win at No. 2 girls singles; team now 5-0
Lackey and La Plata went down to the literal end in Monday’s Southern Maryland Athletic Conference Potomac Division tennis match.
With the match tied at four wins apiece, the day came down to one final clash at No. 2 girls singles with Lackey’s Mariel Santos and Madison Smith of La Plata squaring off with everyone watching.
Smith took the first set 6-4 and Santos responded with a 7-5 win in the second set. A seesaw battle in the third and final set saw the score knotted at 6 and ever ything would be decided in a tiebreaker.
In the tiebreaker, the La Plata senior went on defeat Santos 7-2 to win the set 7-6 as the Warriors eked out a 5-4 victory over the host Chargers.
“Lackey has always been our competition in the county and [Santos] really was a tough player,” Smith said. “I was mentally tired later in the second set and thought I had her, but I lost that one. In the third set I just pushed myself and was able to place my shots well.”
La Plata (5-0, 5-0 Potomac) avenged a 5-4 loss to the Chargers a season ago and remains undefeated on the season. It is scheduled to take on visiting Patuxent at 4 p.m. today.
“This is really big, us and Lackey are usually the best teams in our county. Last year they beat us 5-4, the year before we beat them 5-4,” La Plata head coach Jim Dunleavy said. “The [No. 2] girls singles match was a great match. Both girls played tremendous and
no one gave in.”
Other the No. 2 girls singles and mixed doubles, all
the other wins for La Plata in the matches were decided in straight sets. The Warriors took four of the five doubles matches, which was a huge difference in the match overall, according to Dunleavy.
“Our doubles are very strong this year and we definitely had a edge on those today,” Dunleavy said. “We’ve been playing well this year so far. We just have to keep it up. We have some
tough matches coming up.”
At boys No. 1 doubles, seniors Justin Ryan and Walter Burlack won in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0, over Lackey’s James Weeks and Peter Stewart. In the No. 2 matchup,
seniors Alex Catterton and Josh Hurley won 6-4, 6-2 over Lackey’s Taylor Leapley and Sam Guzzone.
In No. 1 girls doubles, Sarah Deneault and Preetaman Virk cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 victory, while the No. 2 pair Grace Na and Jennifer Curtis also won in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0.
“It was real nice for our doubles team to win. Last week we lost to North Point’s doubles team, so we bounced back today,” Deneault said. “Me and Preetaman played very strong at the net and worked very well together. It was awesome to see Madison pull out that win in girls singles. I’m really proud of her. She did a great job.”
La Plata also earned victories at No. 2 boys singles as Joseph Na won 6-1, 6-0 over Lackey’s Lee Abderrahim.
Lackey’s Ron Stith won in straight sets over Logan Van Sickle in No. 1 boys singles, 6-1, 6-0. In No. 1 girls singles, Azuri Hughes remained perfect on the season with a win in straight sets over La Plata’s Michal Kattrell, 6-0, 6-2.
“I’m trying to keep my winning streak and continue to work on my tactics and play to win,” Hughes said. “This year I’m playing smarter and way better than I was the last three years and more into the game mentally.”
Lackey (3-2, 2-1) won at mixed doubles as Kennedi Bowman and DJ Nelson edged out Jennifer Dieterle in three sets, 6-3, 3-6, 6-4.
“Today was real hectic. We knew that if our singles play well, we would be in the match,” Lackey head coach Ken Griffith said. “We just needed some help with our boys and girls doubles, but at the beginning of the year we knew we had to work on that. We are getting better and I think we will be in the mix at the end of the season.”
The Chargers are scheduled to host Thomas Stone at 4 p.m. today.
La Plata senior Madison Smith delivered the game-winning point in three sets over Lackey’s Mariel Santos, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (7-2), lifting the Warriors to a 5-4 victory over the Chargers on Monday.